Monday, June 05, 2006

I can't stop thinking about Shawn's suicide. Suicide. I don't even know the guy and I feel angered disbelief and betrayal. I can't imagine how it would feel if someone I really cared about took their life.

About the betrayal. His posts were almost always glowingly optimistic. The only complaints he ever made were about rude people on the internet who sometimes left disparaging comments, or every once in a while he'd wonder whether blogging was worth it anymore. When I say glowingly optimistic I mean glowingly. He raved about the life choice he made to leave his dissatisfying job in the states and take charge. He seemed to love everything about Asia; his income, the food, the women, his current job.

I feel lied to.

This makes me think about two things.

First, blogging isn't what it appears to be. His readers felt like they were hearing the whole story (did they??). It's easy to forget that bloggers hide bad stuff a lot of the time, or at least things that portray them negatiely. Of course. We do that in our day to day lives but online and as readers we can forget. Why? Maybe because it's written and therefore somehow legitimate. Maybe because we just have nothing else to go by. We really feel connected to strangers as though we know them. At least I do, and he managed to deceive me.

Secondly, since the deception was so successful I have questions about his decision. Was it even a decision? Was it pre-meditated or did the drunken stupor he wallowed induring his last few days lead him to the ledge. Did he stand there and think about it or just leap? Didn't he think about the people he was leaving behind? Did he wonder about the reaction of his family and friends and the huge online community that followed him?

I can't imagine making that jump. It must have been so bad and he seemed so good that it doesn't add up in my mind. The two images that I conjure up in my mind of Shawn Matthews the English teacher and Shawn Matthews the depressed suicide victim don't match.

I won't lose any more sleep over it. It's just sad.


At June 05, 2006 9:37 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever hear the song, The Tracks Of My Tears?

"People say I'm the life of the party
'cause I tell a joke or two
Although I may be laughin' loud and hearty
Deep inside I'm blue

So take a good look at my face
You see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears"

A lot of people get depressed aand don't feel like they can talk about it to anyone, so they burry it and pretend nothing's amiss.

I don't think you were "lied to". Just because you read someone's blog doesn't mean you're privy to their inner thoughts. I have a blog too but i only talk about the fun and/or crazy stuf about life here because i don't want to air my dirty laundry. If something bad goes down, i tell friends and family i trust; not internet strangers. Having said that, perhaps this Shawn guy could have gotten the help he needed if he would have said something to someone.


At June 06, 2006 8:19 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Good song quote, Dan. And yes, it's true that I haven't been lied to and I can't expect that people divulge everything about their personal lives online. I certainly don't. It's just easy to forget that, isn't it?


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